CLEVELAND, Ohio — Progressive Corp. plans a $30 million expansion in Highland Heights, bringing 900 new jobs.
The Mayfield-based insurer, which employs about 9,000 locally, was approved for a 12-year tax credit for nearly $63 million in new annual payroll. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority today said it approved a 2.35 percent job creation tax credit. In exchange, Progressive agrees to maintain the operations for at least 15 years.
The expansion will also help retain nearly 10,000 jobs, according to Team NEO, the economic development organization focused on creating local jobs. Those retained jobs have a total payroll of about $819 million
The incentives were approved today by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority in Columbus. The Progressive project was among several statewide announced today by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in a news release.
There were hints Progressive could have opened its new operation in another state.
In a statement, Progressive Chief Human Resources Officer Lori Niederst said the insurer chose Northeast Ohio for its expansion because of a talented labor pool and a business-friendly environment.
“Progressive has called Northeast Ohio home for 80 years. We know it’s a great place to live, work and play and we’re pleased to be adding jobs here,” Niederst said in the statement in a Team NEO news release. “We are committed to attracting and developing the top talent in this area to help us meet our goal of becoming the number one choice and destination for auto and other insurance.”
The company today didn’t indicate when the construction or hiring will begin. The expansion is expected to be finished by December 2021.
Progressive expects to open the new location to “accommodate increased business needs related to company growth,” according to the state. The workforce will include some “qualifying work from home employees,” most of who will work in customer service and headquarters duties.
Team NEO said in a statement that a group including representatives from its office, JobsOhio and the Greater Cleveland Partnership worked together on the Progressive expansion project.
Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO, said in a statement that officials are glad Progressive is expanding locally. He added that Ohio is second only to New York City for the number of headquarters for U.S. banks and insurance companies, saying Ohio is “a premier location for businesses given its financial services, innovation network, abundant tech-savvy talent and top-rated banking business climate.
“We are committed to helping Progressive and the rest of this sector grow and thrive in Northeast Ohio,” Koehler added.
Joe Roman, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, said in a statement that Progressive’s investment shows its “continued confidence in Greater Cleveland’s business environment.”
Progressive provides property insurance provides insurance for both individuals and businesses for autos, homes and other property. It is the nation’s fourth-largest auto insurer, behind State Farm, Geico and Allstate. It has about 27,000 employees.
The tax credit was technically granted to Progressive Casualty Insurance, Progressive Specialty Insurance and Progressive RSC.
Plain Dealer reporter Michelle Jarboe contributed to this story.